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Talkback: Digging and not digging

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  • I need to do a sandy soil raised bed to grow pickling onions. I have clay!! What would I need to mix and how much to create sandy soil.
  • Help! I am a beginner gardener and want to start growing vegetables. I have quite a large garden and like the neatness of raised beds. Probably sounds a bit stupid, I get how to make the container but what goes underneath? I plan to make the sides out of materials left in the garden, soe brick built and some made from wooden boards and place them on what is at the moment a tired looking lawn area. Do I just place them over what is there and fill up with compost or do I have to prepare this area first. If so why bother with raised beds and why not dig manure in and plant straight into the ground? I live in the Chiltern Hills so the soil drains well and is very chalky. Do I need to place something at the bottom to help it drain further?

    Any other tips would be gratefully received!
  • No-dig saved me a lot of work. Our new property had a jungle and weed borders and being a complete gardening Green-horn i turned to the internet for advice. I found a site advocating No-dig, but with a twist - it suggested placing cardboard on the soil/weed-beds before a deep layer of mulch. As it said that this could be done over the top of weeds, but around plants it seemed like a double bonus so I set too. With flat packed cardboard packaging and the old jungle hacked back and shredded (to reveal another 8 foot of garden!) on top in the autumn, our former weed beds were lovely rich brown and full of worms when i planted up in the spring, and I hardly had to weed all summer! All i need now is more mulch for this year and away we go again.
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